Concerns over the mosquito-borne Zika virus continue to mount as city health officials say a pregnant New Yorker has tested positive for the disease.
NBC New York reported that the woman, who was recently traveling, brings the number of residents stricken with the virus to three. Experts cautioned against alarm, however, as there is scant risk of the virus being transmitted in New York as mosquitoes aren’t active in the winter season.
At a press conference, New York City Commissioner of Health Dr.Mary Bassett said that, typically, OB/GYNs can monitor and see whether or not Zika is affecting fetuses in the first trimester of pregnancy. Bassett added that doctors look for signs of rapid growth in the head and brain.
“There is no rapid test” for the virus, Bassett said, urging physicians to be alert ofindividualsif they’ve been traveling and experience symptoms. And, if they encounter patients who might’ve been exposed, to gather samples from those patients and alert health officials.
Some of those symptoms include acute onset of fever, a red rash or rashesappearing on skin that contain small bumps, conjunctivitsknown colloquially as “pink eye” or joint pain, according to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus is known to cause birth defects, including microcephaly — atypicalsmallness of the human head.
The CDC dispatched a bulletin earlier this month reporting that, as of Jan. 15, 2016, 14 countries or territories in the Americas, including Puetro Rico, had documented local transmission of Zika.